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September 25, 2013

Mayor vetoes council move to lift I-4, C-2 site from DPA

Citing the ongoing work of the city’s Harbor Plan Committee and the concurrent Designated Port Area boundary review, Mayor Carolyn Kirk today vetoed the City Council measure to remove the city-owned I-4, C-2 parcel from the state’s Designated Port Area along the city’s waterfront.

Kirk said she believes the council’s 5-4 vote at its Sept. 10 reflected a divided city council, and indicated continuing local disagreement on what to do with I-4, C-2.

“State legislators, and the governor, who has to sign off on the home rule petition, are reluctant to interfere in disagreements at the local level, and rightly so,” Kirk wrote in the memorandum attached to her veto.

Kirk said the council measure also would undermine the work of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, which is working with the city “to assess the viability of a multi-tenanted, revenue generating, self-sustaining facility such as their in Portland, Maine.”

Finally, the mayor said, the council failed to meet the established standard for approving the measure. That standard, first set when Kirk outlined her reasons for supporting Cape Pond Ice’s request for removal from the DPA, includes a compelling business reason, financial hardship and “assessment of the likelihood of success of other available remedies.”

“Without consensus, the city has a history of becoming frozen in time or paralyzed with no ability to move forward,” Kirk wrote. “With consensus, we can make progress in a direction that has support, and with the best chance of success.”

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Sean Horgan may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3464, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT

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